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How can lay persons independently verify the existence of earth like planets?

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posted on Jun, 1 2017 @ 12:27 AM
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a reply to: firefromabove

You can detect planets with commercially available equipment and a bit tinkering. The idea is to use multiple telescopes.

Trans-Atlantic Exoplanet Survey uses three 4-inch (10 cm) telescopes
www.space.com...

XO Telescope
www.newswise.com...

Minerva uses four (somewhat expensive) 0.7m telescopes.
www.cfa.harvard.edu...

MEarth project uses eight 0.4m telescopes. They actually have detected a superearth. LHS 1140b, a rocky planet 1.4 times the size of the Earth.
www.cfa.harvard.edu...




posted on Jun, 1 2017 @ 01:59 AM
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It's a bunch of bullS**** it's fine to be skeptical.



posted on Jun, 1 2017 @ 02:28 AM
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Even if you have telescope , all you gonna see is a speck , a dot if you will .

Everything else is speculation .



posted on Jun, 1 2017 @ 03:03 AM
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Actually, exoplanets can be detected using fairly simple amateur-level equipment. All you need to do is take pictures of a star and see if you detect a tiny and regular "dip" in its brightness.

Determining whether the prospective discovery is indeed an "earthlike planet" will require a lot more than that, including lots of calculations, but I suppose some of that work could be done by an amateur who knows the ins and outs of astrophysics.

astronomyonline.org...

Amateur astronomers can detect exoplanets from their back yards! While finding new planets is probably not possible from a backyard telescope, the professionals have a list of known planets for us to examine.

[...]

The most successful type of data collection by the amateur is through the photometric change in stellar brightness - or the transit method. Only a handful of stars will have a planet cross of the surface of the star, none-the-less continual data of these sources are needed - this frees up the professionals time to focus on the more obscure methods of detection.

As a planet passes over the portion of the star facing us, the light curve of the star drops for a time. As the planet passes through, the light curve returns to normal.


How to detect an exoplanet with your DSLR camera: www.sciencealert.com...



posted on Jun, 1 2017 @ 03:12 AM
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originally posted by: 23432
Even if you have telescope , all you gonna see is a speck , a dot if you will .

Everything else is speculation .


You'd be surprised how much we can learn from a "dot". For example, a polarising filter will tell you if the exoplanet has got an atmosphere, and looking at it in infrared will give clues about its surface temperature.



posted on Jun, 1 2017 @ 06:15 AM
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a reply to: wildespace

I was going to post a DSLR link for exoplanets just shows what can be done now with relatively inexpensive equipment.



posted on Jun, 1 2017 @ 06:48 AM
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originally posted by: wildespace

originally posted by: 23432
Even if you have telescope , all you gonna see is a speck , a dot if you will .

Everything else is speculation .


You'd be surprised how much we can learn from a "dot". For example, a polarising filter will tell you if the exoplanet has got an atmosphere, and looking at it in infrared will give clues about its surface temperature.


You do know that the results we infer from the Colour Scala or Infrared are also based upon speculation and extrapolation ?



posted on Jun, 1 2017 @ 07:52 AM
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originally posted by: firefromabove
Simple question from a curious layman:

Every now and then I come across articles claiming "scientists" have discovered an earth like planet in a far away solar system

It sounds nice, but how can laymen independently verify such claims?

Is it OK to be skeptical of such claims?

Or are we to simply be silent and unquestioningly accept the claims of scientists as a fact?


Why dont we have access to the scientists telescopes that allows them to observe these "earth like" planets??




If, said layman, were to construct a reflecting telescope about the size of the new Chinese radio telescope and provide for a means to block out all the light from some exoplanets parent star, it might just be possible to actually "see" said planet. That is of course the air is very still and the light which you gather is not too disturbed by a few particles of dust.



posted on Jun, 1 2017 @ 08:00 AM
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a reply to: firefromabove

You could check out the pics from the Mars Rover.

I think Mars would technically fall into the category of Earthlike planets.



posted on Jun, 1 2017 @ 08:03 AM
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A lot of claims by a lot of people have to be taken on faith.

If you want to believe it, it's your choice.

If you want to verify the veracity of some of those "experts" claims, start your own space observatory or build a space ship to go see...



posted on Jun, 1 2017 @ 11:22 AM
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originally posted by: 23432
Even if you have telescope , all you gonna see is a speck , a dot if you will .

Everything else is speculation .



Even if we only see a speck in a telescope, it is still speculation as to what that speck is, or the characteristics of that speck.

Most planets are found by two methods:

(1) The Transit Method, by which a planet is detected as it moves between its star and our instrument watching that star. When our instrument detects a dip in the light coming from that star, it could mean that a planet has crossed in front of it, blocking a tiny portion of the light. If the star is watch for a period of time, that dip in the light may be detected at regular intervals telling us that an object (most likely a planet) is orbiting it.

(2) Doppler Spectroscopy, which is also called the "wobble method", looks at the tiny wobble in a star caused by a planet tugging on the star as it orbits. For example, for how large the Sun is, Jupiter can actually tug at the Sun a little as Jupiter orbits. In fact, even tiny earth can minutely (although almost imperceptibly) cause the sun to wobble as Earth orbits it.


Both of these methods are usually used to gather information about the suggested characteristics of a planet. Often a planet is discovered via one method, then further studied by using the other method. The "wobble" method can suggest details about the mass, while the transit method can give details about size. The two used together can give information about planet density (rocky or gaseous).

The transit method, along with spectrographic analysis of the light being emitted by the star as the light passes past the planet, can give information about the make-up of the planet and of the planet's atmosphere. they doe this by comparing the spectrographic analysis of just the starlight with the spectrographic analysis of the starlight with the planet in front of it. The differences in the two would be the spectrographic information about the planet.


edit on 1/6/2017 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 1 2017 @ 11:23 AM
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originally posted by: firefromabove
Simple question from a curious layman:

Every now and then I come across articles claiming "scientists" have discovered an earth like planet in a far away solar system

It sounds nice, but how can laymen independently verify such claims?
As wildespace pointed out, you can independently verify larger exoplanets like the example of Planet tau Boo b verified by amateur astronomers in his link, but it's not an "earth-like" planet, it's much more massive than Jupiter.


Is it OK to be skeptical of such claims?

Or are we to simply be silent and unquestioningly accept the claims of scientists as a fact?
Scientists themselves are big skeptics and decades ago they were skeptical about our ability to detect exoplanets. So of course skepticism is healthy, it's the key to science. You can get into questions about whether skepticism is rational or irrational and only the former type is justified. Some people apparently have difficulty distinguishing between the two.


Why dont we have access to the scientists telescopes that allows them to observe these "earth like" planets??
The telescopes are there to advance astronomy, even scientists have to compete for observing time on them and there aren't enough telescopes to meet all the needs of the astronomers, so of course laypeople who don't even know how to operate the equipment don't have a chance for the pro telescopes, though if you have money you can buy observing time on some commercial telescopes. Here's an example of a telescope you can use for pay:

Remote Observing with the Schulman Foundation Telescope

Amateur astronomers around the world can now enjoy taking full control of the Schulman Telescope. As the largest dedicated public access telescope in the world, the telescope was designed from inception to provide full remote control over the internet by amateur astrophotographers worldwide. The telescope has been provided to the Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter by the Schulman Foundation, Joseph D. Schulman, President.

Currently individuals can take direct control of the telescope operating the instrument through a web-based interface. Real-time imaging gives you feedback as to what is occurring at the observatory atop Mount Lemmon's 9,157 peak. You can see the images as they are acquired, watch the telescope and dome move, monitor the weather conditions, monitor guide stars, focus and much more. It is like being there, but sitting comfortably in your own home. Individuals can also elect to submit requests for data via scheduled (queued) observations.

We are in the process of establishing an on-line portal for purchase and scheduling of the Schulman Telescope, however, you can purchase time on the telescope or schedule queued observations now by sending an email to the Mount Lemmon SkyCenter at mtlemmon.skycenter.remote@gmail.com or by contacting us at 520-626-8122. In either case, please include the best way for us to reach you in order that we can contact you to assist in planning and successfully carrying out your observations.


a reply to: wildespace
Yes according to your link, amateurs were able to detect an exoplanet with roughly 6 times the mass of Jupiter, but unless you can find an example of amateurs detecting an "earth-mass" exoplanet I am skeptical that can be done currently with amateur equipment.



posted on Jun, 1 2017 @ 11:37 AM
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originally posted by: MyHappyDogShiner
A lot of claims by a lot of people have to be taken on faith.

If you want to believe it, it's your choice.

If you want to verify the veracity of some of those "experts" claims, start your own space observatory or build a space ship to go see...


I'd say if a person wants to verify a claim, then they could attempt to look at the raw data gathered by the instruments that helped identify the planet and its characteristics and go from there.

Of course, this would mean that they would need to trust that the raw data gathered from those instruments was accurate in the first place. However, once the data is gathered, then anyone (anyone with expertise, but expertise that is generally attainable) can use that data to confirm the planet and its characteristics.

Here is a website that provides the raw data from the Kepler Telescope -- the instrument that found most of the exoplanets we know of today:
Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST) - Kepler Data; Getting Started

And that same website offers up raw data from a number of instruments:
MAST Available Data Sets


Edit to add:
I'm not saying the know-how for confirming these planets is an easy thing, but then again it is NOT something that only a few select geniuses in the world have the capability of doing. With a little hard work and studying, many laymen should be able to use the raw data the instruments provide to confirm the existence and characteristics of exoplanets.

I mean, the scientists who can do this are not super-human. They are just regular humans who have a moderate level of intelligence and learned how to analyze data.


edit on 1/6/2017 by Soylent Green Is People because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 1 2017 @ 01:11 PM
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A layman would need to learn and understand how we determine the presence of a planet and then do the same painstaking examination of thousands of pics of a star as scientists do. Quite easy really.

How would a layman determine what is wrong with their cars engine?
Same thing - you either pass it to the experts (mechanics) or learn to do the same thing as the experts.



posted on Jun, 1 2017 @ 01:14 PM
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a reply to: moebius

Thanks to you and everyone else who pointed out that big exoplanets don't necessarily need sophisticated instruments to find them.
I was thinking about the 'Earthlike' planets mentioned by the OP, which need heavier haulage as Arbitrageur pointed out.

Good to see some of the heavy astronomy and physics hitters stepping up to the plate here. One trusts the OP is suitability chastened.



posted on Jun, 1 2017 @ 04:28 PM
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originally posted by: Soylent Green Is People

originally posted by: 23432
Even if you have telescope , all you gonna see is a speck , a dot if you will .

Everything else is speculation .



Even if we only see a speck in a telescope, it is still speculation as to what that speck is, or the characteristics of that speck.

Most planets are found by two methods:

(1) The Transit Method, by which a planet is detected as it moves between its star and our instrument watching that star. When our instrument detects a dip in the light coming from that star, it could mean that a planet has crossed in front of it, blocking a tiny portion of the light. If the star is watch for a period of time, that dip in the light may be detected at regular intervals telling us that an object (most likely a planet) is orbiting it.

(2) Doppler Spectroscopy, which is also called the "wobble method", looks at the tiny wobble in a star caused by a planet tugging on the star as it orbits. For example, for how large the Sun is, Jupiter can actually tug at the Sun a little as Jupiter orbits. In fact, even tiny earth can minutely (although almost imperceptibly) cause the sun to wobble as Earth orbits it.


Both of these methods are usually used to gather information about the suggested characteristics of a planet. Often a planet is discovered via one method, then further studied by using the other method. The "wobble" method can suggest details about the mass, while the transit method can give details about size. The two used together can give information about planet density (rocky or gaseous).

The transit method, along with spectrographic analysis of the light being emitted by the star as the light passes past the planet, can give information about the make-up of the planet and of the planet's atmosphere. they doe this by comparing the spectrographic analysis of just the starlight with the spectrographic analysis of the starlight with the planet in front of it. The differences in the two would be the spectrographic information about the planet.




Thank you for the info .

Methods I am sure are impeccable as they ought to be ; scientificly speaking of course.

However I have this urge to bring some humour into this conversation ;




As far as telescopes are concerned ;





I wonder how many telescopes Vatican has access to ?



posted on Jun, 1 2017 @ 04:33 PM
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edit
random wrong post

edit on 1-6-2017 by MasterAtArms because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 1 2017 @ 04:36 PM
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I'm curious your reasoning for disbelieving it.

Now yes, it would be pretty difficult to do the same experiments at home, though not impossible - however, unlike subjects such as FE and EU, we don't have to just "take their word for it" - because they can show actual, logical reasoning and theory behind the claims, which is very different from, say, YouTube FE'ers



posted on Jun, 1 2017 @ 05:02 PM
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originally posted by: 23432

originally posted by: wildespace

originally posted by: 23432
Even if you have telescope , all you gonna see is a speck , a dot if you will .

Everything else is speculation .


You'd be surprised how much we can learn from a "dot". For example, a polarising filter will tell you if the exoplanet has got an atmosphere, and looking at it in infrared will give clues about its surface temperature.


You do know that the results we infer from the Colour Scala or Infrared are also based upon speculation and extrapolation ?



No, I know that they are based on first-hand experiments.



posted on Jun, 1 2017 @ 05:17 PM
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originally posted by: wildespace

originally posted by: 23432

originally posted by: wildespace

originally posted by: 23432
Even if you have telescope , all you gonna see is a speck , a dot if you will .

Everything else is speculation .


You'd be surprised how much we can learn from a "dot". For example, a polarising filter will tell you if the exoplanet has got an atmosphere, and looking at it in infrared will give clues about its surface temperature.


You do know that the results we infer from the Colour Scala or Infrared are also based upon speculation and extrapolation ?



No, I know that they are based on first-hand experiments.


On Earth I might add .

What are the " first-hand experiments " in this context which helped you determine the particulars of a given astro object ?




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